Plymouth College of Art has appointed Jamie Billing as Programme Leader for its new BA (Hons) Design programme. Jamie, who was born in Cornwall and now lives in Saltash, has worked as a consultant in product design, graphics, branding and new media for clients such as The British Museum and Nestlé, was previously Senior Lecturer in Product Design at Nottingham Trent University and graduated from MA Industrial Design at Central St Martins in 2001.
Jamie is a key figure in the world’s growing movement championing design for longer life, reuse and repair. He is technical director of Co-oproduct, which he co-founded with partner Tracy Cordingley, an online portal for the free-sharing of product design ideas aimed at helping others to repair and recycle everyday items that weren’t designed with recycling in mind.
In 2015 Billing and Co-oproduct won the ‘Responsible Waste Management’ category at the Sustainable City Awards for their ‘Closed Loop: 3D Printing from Plastic Packaging Waste’ project in collaboration with Nestlé Research and Nottingham Trent University. The project demonstrated the possibility of 3D printing new packaging from waste plastics, including Nestlé Quality Street tubs, to reduce the impact of such packaging on the environment.
Speaking of his decision to take up the post, Jamie said: “I’m very excited to be back in the South West after spending most of my career working in other parts of the country. The design industry contributes, on average, £71 billion per year to the UK economy, so a design programme like this new one will definitely contribute to the local economy, but unfortunately design also generates a lot of waste and doesn’t always operate in an ethical, sustainable way.
“Through the new BA (Hons) Design programme we intend to disrupt the status quo of the design industry by preparing designers to embrace shifts towards sustainable, ethical and open design principles, whilst equipping them with the skills to combine physical and digital design.
“As a society we’re currently using twice as many resources as the planet can sustain. We need to learn to use the resources available to us responsibly – in my opinion, there is no room for anybody in the design profession that isn’t going to balance the needs of the environment with the economy.
“At Plymouth College of Art I have an opportunity to write a disruptive programme that challenges all of the biggest problems in the industry head on,” Jamie continued, “and this is such an amazing city to live in. Being able to see the sea from my studio is something that I dreamt of when I lived in Nottingham.
“My ideal students would be up for a challenge, they’d already be a little bit disruptive, more interested in exploring possible applications of design than perpetuating the kind of designs that already exist. I honestly don’t think that there’s anywhere else in the UK that I could lead a programme like this one and I can’t wait to sit down with students and ask them what kind of future they want to create.”
(from a press release)